Damn Cool Blues of the Highest Quality.
I’ve definitely liked much of Danny Bryant’s earlier albums; but probably fast-forwarded to my favourite tracks, rather than listening to a whole album in one sitting.
That will change completely with this album!
In the past Danny has been guilty of trying to emulate his mentor Walter Trout by playing as loud and fast as possible – not necessarily a bad thing; but I always felt he had something in reserve that was Danny Bryant, pure and simple.
He gets the Walter Trout ‘thing’ out of the way on the title track Blood Money, which opens the album by getting the revitalised Walter to duet with him. The song is a brooding Blues Rocker of the finest order, with Master and Apprentice in fine form on guitars and in the vocal department too.
But; it’s when producer Richard Hammerton lets Danny fly free that we hear the very best from him.
There are less out and out ‘Rockers’ here than I’d expected; with Sugar Sweet being a restrained belter; with some snarly guitar behind Bryant’s flowing vocals.
We all like different styles of The Blues; and for me I prefer the low down; dirty slow Southern style best and that’s what we get here; with bells on!
Unchained is as slow and funky as I’ve heard Bryant perform, and not a single note sounds superfluous; and the horn section sweeps in and out like a tail wind as Bryant finally grows into his magnificent voice.
I think you will agree that the best Blues songs are about loving and losing or at the very least cheating on a loved one; young Mr. Bryant does both on Fools Game, when he makes his geetar HOWL in pain; and straight afterwards Holding All The Cards sounds like the best Johnny Winter song you’ve ever heard.
There’s a second collaboration here; with the re-rejuvenated Bernie Marsden joining Bryant on the ballad Just Won’t Burn; which actually does burn like a smouldering love letter.
Sarah Jayne closes the album; another ballad; but one that has a piano as lead instrument and truly showcases that amazing voice in a way; his guitar histrionics didn’t allow on earlier albums.
While everything here rocks along with lower case letter r; Danny also throws a curve ball with a real soulful and powerful humdinger of a song; Slow Suicide. Strange subject matter, but the song is stunning and shows that Danny Bryant can write a truly outstanding song and deliver it with panache.
Just a couple of years ago he was ‘one to watch,’ but with Blood Money, Danny Bryant has finally arrived in style.
Released January 29th 2016